uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017


Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

11733 - All you need to know about India's DNA profiling Bill - Money Control


It will enable the authorities to maintain records of unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies or missing persons.

Siddhesh Raut
Moneycontrol News

On Monday, the Indian government told Supreme Court that a legislative process is in progress to bring in a human DNA profiling bill.
In India, the bill was first proposed in 2007 and its drafting began in 2012. Worldwide, this bill is already a standard law in more than 25 countries.

What is DNA profiling and why do countries adopt it?

Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) is the blueprint of the body composition. A human being’s DNA contains 3 billion characteristics that will define all aspects of his biology.
The technique first came up in 1986, when a British genetic researcher Alec Jeffreys, along with Britain’s Forensic Science Service members Peter Gill and David Werrett, managed to use 13 of these characteristics to create a DNA profile.
They used this technique to prove the innocence of a man being held for the rape/murder of two girls and catch the true criminal after attempting to match DNA samples from over 5,500 individuals.
Many countries use DNA profiles for crime investigations. The creation of a DNA database could be used for criminal investigation, disaster identification and forensic science.
A petition filed by NGO Lokniti Foundation stated that India does not have a national DNA database to address the issue of thousands of unclaimed dead bodies that are reported annually.
Thus, a bill on DNA profiling would possibly enable the authorities to maintain records of unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies or missing persons.

Why is it controversial?
A Wire report states that data rights issues are the main chinks in the bill. There is no clear action plan to safeguard the privacy and the safety of the DNA profiles against both thefts and contamination as well as the time period till availability to the stakeholders concerned, namely scientists, law enforcement and other agencies.

The bill has assumed relevance given the recent Supreme Court debates surrounding the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

How does the draft bill provide safe guards?
The Mint reported the PRS Legislative Research stating that the draft DNA Based Technology (Use and Regulation) Bill, 2017 has five important provisions to safeguard the citizen’s privacy, which include:

a) The DNA profiling would be used only for identification purposes and not for any other details.
b) No bodily substances will be taken without previous consent in writing. However, according to the Wire report, the consent clause is not applicable for people on the more serious end of the criminal justice system. For persons accused of a crime that is punishable either by death or by a sentence of more than seven years in prison, prior consent need not be sought.
c) A statutory body called the DNA Profiling Board will be responsible for supervision, inspection and assessment purposes.
d) People found guilty of flouting the norms proposed by the bill are liable to receive three years' imprisonment and a hefty fine. (up to Rs 3 lakh, according to the Wire report)
The Wire also pointed out that a person’s DNA profile can only be used for comparison in the index if the person has been suspected of a crime, or is a previous offender himself.
Also, if an individual is let go after a trial, there is no provision in the draft for the person to remove his records from the databank until a written letter is written to the director of the databank for the same.

Here are few of the countries that have implemented a national DNA database:

United States
The United States holds the largest DNA database, with the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) containing more than 150,000 DNA profiles contributed by 73 countries as of 2014.
According to information on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website, anyone wishing to access this database needs clearance from the Interpol.

United Kingdom
The UK maintains the National DNA Database (NDNAD) that was set up in 1995. By 2015, they had profiles of 5.7 million individuals, most of the samples having been recovered from crime scenes and taken from police suspects.
The information is stored in the form of digital code, which is based on the nomenclature of each STR.

Australia
The Australian national DNA database is known as the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD). The database uses 9 STR locations and a sex gene for analysis.

Canada
The Canadian national DNA database is known as the National DNA Data Bank (NDDB) which was established in 1988 but first used in 2000.
NDDB consists of two indexes- the Convicted Offender Index (COI) and National Crime Scene Index (CSI-nat).

Israel
The Israeli national DNA database is called the Israel Police DNA Index System (IPDIS) which was established in 2007.